Are African Grey Parrots Good Pets? Pros and Cons

are african grey parrots good pets

African grey parrots stand out for their cleverness and talking skills. Before you decide to take one home, it’s wise to think about the good and bad sides of owning them. So, are African grey parrots great as pets? Let’s find out.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

  • African grey parrots are highly intelligent birds, capable of learning over 1,000 words and speaking in context1.
  • These parrots need to be kept mentally sharp with daily playtime and new things to do1.
  • They may develop bad habits like feather picking if they get bored or stressed12.
  • Expect to spend between $2,000 and $4,000 to buy one2.
  • They need a balanced diet, regular exercise, and plenty of time interacting with their human family12.

The Pros of Owning an African Grey Parrot

African grey parrots are smart and interesting friends to have. They can learn and copy many words and phrases, making them great to talk with. Their large vocabulary and language understanding3 attract people looking for a pet that interacts with them.

One good thing about African greys is how long they live; they can be part of your life for more than 30 years3. This long time together lets you form a strong connection with them. They become a key part of your family.

These parrots are also loving, in their own way. Although they’re not known to be cuddlers, they do like spending time close to people. They’ll enjoy when you scratch their heads or pet them a bit3. This makes them a good choice for those who want a talkative and social pet.

The look of African grey parrots is quite special. You can find the Timneh African grey, which is smaller and darker. Or the Congo African grey, which is bigger and has beautiful, distinctive colors3. Their appearance makes them stand out and draws in those who love birds.

These parrots really enjoy being around people. They need a lot of interaction and mental games to be happy. You should play with them and let them be outside their cage a lot4. Keeping them entertained and well-socialized is key to their health.

Another big plus of African greys is their intelligence. They can grasp word meanings and even form simple sentences to talk with you3. Their cleverness adds to the fun of having them as pets. They provide ongoing joy and entertainment.

Overall, African grey parrots bring many good things to their owners. Their smartness, pretty looks, loving nature, and long life all add up to a great companion. For anyone looking for a pet that keeps them company and interacts with them, an African grey is a top choice.

The Cons of Owning an African Grey Parrot

Owning an African Grey Parrot can bring great joy. But, it comes with challenges. These birds are smart and charming. However, their care and behavior can be complex for some.

1. Attention and Interaction Requirements

African Grey Parrots need a lot of love and mental activity. Owners must give them much of their time to stay happy. If they don’t get enough attention, they might act out or become aggressive5.

This means you’ll have to spend a good amount of time with them.

2. Noise and Destructive Behavior

These parrots are very good at making sounds. They can be very loud, which might not go well in shared living spaces. Also, they could start destroying things if they get bored. This includes chewing on furniture or toys.

So, be ready for the noise and look for ways to keep them entertained.

3. Specialized Diet and Expense

Feeding African Grey Parrots right is essential for their health. Their diet needs to be diverse and include supplements. But, preparing this diet can cost a lot and take time, especially for the fresh foods.

Make sure you’re ready for the investment in their meals.

4. Long Lifespan and Commitment

These parrots can live up to 60 years5. While that’s great news for companionship, it means a lifelong commitment for owners. You might have to make plans for their care in case you’re not around.

It’s a long-term promise to keep them happy and healthy.

5. Territory and Behavioral Issues

African Grey Parrots sometimes act like they own the place6. They might see a family member as their mate and push others away. This can lead to them being upset or acting out. Training and socialization can help manage these habits.

Knowing and handling these behaviors early is essential.

Despite the cons, many love their African Grey Parrots. With the right care and knowledge, these birds can be wonderful pets. Thorough research before adopting is crucial.

Cons of Owning an African Grey Parrot Statistical Data
Attention and Interaction Requirements Requirement of constant interaction5
Noise and Destructive Behavior Vocalization and potential for destructive behavior5
Specialized Diet and Expense Specific dietary requirements and expense5
Long Lifespan and Commitment Lifespan of up to 60 years and long-term commitment57
Territory and Behavioral Issues Territorial behaviors and potential for aggression6

Overcoming the Cons of Owning an African Grey Parrot

Having an African Grey parrot can be tough. But, if you care and pay attention, you can handle challenges. You can create a strong, loving bond with your bird. Here’s how:

1. Providing Mental Stimulation

African Grey parrots need a lot of mental activity. This is to stop them from getting bored. They thrive on interactive toys, puzzles, and challenges8.

2. Social Interaction and Bonding

These parrots don’t like being alone. If they are, they may show bad behavior. Be sure to spend quality time with your parrot. Let them out of their cage to hang out with you and explore. This not only keeps them happy but also deepens your bond9.

3. Noise Control and Training

African Greys can be loud, especially in the mornings and at night. You can train them to be quieter. Use positive methods and be consistent in your training910.

4. Balanced Diet and Nutrition

Feeding your parrot right is key for their health. They should eat a variety of high-quality pellets, plus fresh fruits and veggies108.

5. Gradual Routine Changes

Greys love their routines. Changing things abruptly can be hard on them. If you must change their schedule, do it slowly. This will help them adjust without too much stress9.

To have a happy life with your African Grey, focus on these tips. Knowing your parrot’s likes and needs is crucial. With care and understanding, you can enjoy a great life with your intelligent pet.

owning african grey parrots

African Grey Parrots vs Other Pet Birds

African Grey Parrots stand out as top pet birds. They are known for being really smart and for talking like humans. These traits make them a favorite among people who love rare pets.

These parrots live a long time, 60–80 years in captivity11. Many other birds live for less time. So, adopting an African Grey is a choice for a lifetime.

They are also pricier than most pet birds. This high cost mirrors how much people want them. It’s because of their cleverness and their talking abilities11.

A key point about African Greys is their sharp minds. They can learn around 300 words and phrases, which is a lot for a bird11. This makes them brighter than some 5-year-old children12.

These parrots have special needs. They must spend at least an hour outdoors every day11. This habit keeps them healthy in body and mind. It’s something that makes them unique from other pet birds who may not need this outdoor time.

If African Greys don’t get enough love and mental challenges, they might act up. They need to connect with their owners and stay mentally active11. This makes taking care of them a bit more involved compared to other birds.

To sum up, African Grey Parrots are highly valued because of their intelligence, long life, and special needs. They make a perfect choice for those who can give them lots of attention and the right care. For the right person, they can be the best pet bird.

The Challenges of Owning an African Grey Parrot

Owning an African Grey Parrot is both rewarding and challenging. These birds are smart and love to be social. They need a lot of care and attention to be happy in a home.

Time Commitment and Social Interaction

African Grey Parrots love to be around people. They need daily mental challenges to stay happy. Spending time every day playing, talking, and training is very important for them.

Specialized Diet

What you feed your African Grey Parrot is crucial. They should eat mainly formulated pelleted food and some fresh fruit and veggies. Limit how many seeds they eat to keep them healthy. Adding some sprouting grass and native tree flowers to their food is a good idea13.

Long Lifespan

African Grey Parrots live a long time, up to 50 years or more13. So, deciding to have one is a big, long-term choice. You need a plan for their care for many years.

Health Issues

Just like us, these birds can get sick. They might have problems like pulling out their feathers, not getting enough calcium, breathing issues, or a serious disease affecting their feathers and beak133. It’s key to take them to a bird doctor once or twice a year to stay on top of their health.


Being an African Grey Parrot parent costs money. The bird itself can be between $500 to $500014. Then there are ongoing costs for their food, care, and equipment, which can add up to $75-$300 every year14. Planning your budget is a must to give them the best care.

While having an African Grey Parrot does require a lot, it can be very fulfilling. Dedication and financial commitment are necessary. But, with the right care, you can have a wonderful bond with your parrot.

Challenges Statistics
Time Commitment and Social Interaction Daily mental stimulation and socialization are required14
Specialized Diet Pellets should make up 75% of their diet, while fresh produce should comprise 20-25%1314
Long Lifespan African Grey Parrots can live up to 50 years or more13
Health Issues Common health issues include feather-picking, calcium deficiency, respiratory infections, and psittacine beak and feather disease133
Costs The cost of an African Grey Parrot can range from $500 to $5000, with additional expenses for food, equipment, and supplies14

The Cost of Owning an African Grey Parrot

Thinking about getting an African Grey Parrot? Be ready for the big costs ahead. They are among the pricier types of pet birds to own15. There is the initial buying cost and then the continuous expenses.

Now, let’s see the money you’ll need for an African Grey Parrot:

Expense Cost Range
African Grey Parrot $1,000-$2,500
Bird Cage Small bird: $50-$200
Larger birds: Varies
Food $10-$30 per month
Veterinary Care Basic visit: $50-$150
Additional medical expenses not included
Insurance Varies depending on coverage

The price for an African Grey Parrot can vary. It depends on where you buy it15. So, take this big step after thinking it over.

Don’t forget about the cage. They need a lot of space. Prices for their cages can be between $50 and $200 for small ones. For bigger birds, the price and size of the cage will go up15.

Food is another cost to plan for. Expect to spend between $10 and $30 each month15. Your parrot will also need toys. These can range from simple to costly, up to $5015.

Vet care for birds can be between $50 and $150. As they grow older, they might need more care15. Regular check-ups keep them healthy and happy.

Some owners get insurance. It might help with big vet bills15.

The costs given are average. Your own costs might differ. They depend on where you live and what you choose.

African Grey Parrots live for many years, up to 80 or more16. So, think about the long-term costs of care15.

Even with the costs, having one of these birds brings much happiness. Many find this investment rewarding.

African Grey Parrot

Understanding these costs helps make a good choice. Make sure you can care for your parrot all its life.

What You Need to Know Before Getting an African Grey Parrot

Thinking about getting an African Grey Parrot? It’s important to realize they need a lot of special care. These clever birds can be amazing friends. But, you must be ready to give them the attention they need. Owning African Grey Parrots is both exciting and demanding. Know what you’re getting into before you decide.

1. Lifespan and Intelligence

African Grey Parrots live for more than 30 years. This is a big decision because it’s a long-term commitment3. They’re super smart, earning the nickname “The Einsteins of the Bird World”3. They can talk like humans and learn to do complex things. It’s really cool to have them around.

2. Size and Appearance

These parrots can weigh up to 18 ounces and are about 13 inches long14. There are two kinds, the Congo African Grey (CAG) and the Timneh African Grey (TAG)3. The CAG is bigger, while the TAG is a bit smaller and looks different. They’re both beautiful in their own ways3.

3. Natural Habitat and Adaptability

African Grey Parrots come from places like savannas and forests in Africa3. They can adjust well, but they need a big and fun place to live. It’s important to keep them entertained with toys and puzzles.

4. Potential Health Issues

These parrots can face some health problems because they’re so smart3. They might pull out their feathers or get sick from not eating right. It’s key to take them to the vet often and feed them good food to keep them healthy.

5. Diet and Exercise

Their food is really important; most should be special pellets or greens. Only a little should be treats14. They need lots of play every day and a few hours outside the cage to keep them happy and healthy14.

6. Adoption and Cost

Want an African Grey Parrot? You can find them at bird stores, with breeders, or at rescues3. The price can vary a lot, from $500 to $5000, plus you’ll need supplies that can add up to $75-$30014.

Knowing these facts is the first step to being a good parrot parent. African Grey Parrots are smart and lovely. But, they need a lot from you to be happy.

The Lifespan of African Grey Parrots

African grey parrots can live a very long life. Some reach up to 80 years when well cared for in homes. This is important to know if you want to own one.

The typical lifespan for these parrots is about 60 years17. Having one as a pet is a big, long-lasting responsibility. You’ll need to give them care, attention, and affection for many years.

Compared to other pet birds, African greys live much longer. Species like budgies or cockatiels normally live 10 to 15 years. The difference in lifespan is due to great care, good food, and a happy home.

african grey parrots as pets

These parrots can truly be part of your family for a long time. They are smart and like to connect with people. They need to be mentally active and to feel loved throughout their lives.

In the wild, African greys might not live as long. This is because of dangers like poaching and losing their natural homes. But in homes, they are safe and can live for many years18.

To wrap up, African grey parrots have a long and impressive life. They need years of love and care to be great family friends. Their needs are worth it for the joy they bring for so long.

Best Practices for Owning an African Grey Parrot

Taking care of African grey parrots is a big responsibility. There are key steps to make sure they are happy and healthy. These include creating an engaging environment, giving them the right food, and spending time with them. Training your parrot with praise and rewards is also vital. Let’s dive deeper into these essential methods:

1. Provide a Stimulating Environment

African grey parrots are smart and love to explore. They need toys and activities to keep them excited. Change their toys often to avoid boredom. You can also put treats in their cage to keep them thinking and problem-solving.

2. Ensure Regular Veterinary Care

Visiting the vet is crucial for your parrot’s health. Regular check-ups catch problems early. Your vet will also advise on vaccines and ways to avoid illness. See your vet once a year at least. Reference19.

3. Provide a Balanced Diet

What your African grey eats matters a lot. Give them a mix of pellets, fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds. Stay away from sugary and salty foods. Ask a vet or nutritionist for food advice. This helps keep them strong and happy. Reference19.

4. Social Interaction and Positive Reinforcement Training

African grey parrots love company and learning new things. Spend time with them daily, talking or playing. Use rewarding training to make them trust you more. Praise good behavior and avoid rewards for bad acts. Reference20.

5. Consideration for Their Physical Needs and Safety

Make their home safe and comfy. Only trim their wing feathers a little to prevent falls. Keep their nails short too, so they don’t hurt themselves or you. Choose a big cage that’s more wide than tall. Too tall a cage is not good for them. Reference20.

6. Raise Awareness and Support Parrot Adoption

Talking about parrot adoption can help many. Use the #rescueparrot hashtag to spread the word online. Suggest adoption to your friends and share info on rescues. A little effort from you can find a new family for a parrot in need. Reference21.

7. Stay Informed About U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics

The American Veterinary Medical Association offers useful pet info. Knowing about pet trends and facts can support your parrot care. Keep up to date with pet stats to be a better parrot parent. Reference21.

african grey parrots care

By applying these tips, your African grey will get the best care. Remember, each parrot has unique needs. Pay attention to what your parrot loves and adjust your care. With love and dedication, you and your parrot will have a strong, joyful bond.

Key Best Practices for Owning an African Grey Parrot References
Provide a stimulating environment 21
Ensure regular veterinary care 19
Provide a balanced diet 19
Social interaction and positive reinforcement training 20
Consideration for their physical needs and safety 20
Raise awareness and support parrot adoption 21
Stay informed about U.S. pet ownership statistics 21

Finding the Right African Grey Parrot for You

Adding an African Grey Parrot to your family needs careful thought. It’s key to choose the right bird. Whether you want a young one or to adopt, do your homework. Picking a trustworthy seller is vital.

You can find African Grey Parrots in different places. This includes from breeders, in pet shops, and at adoption places. Know that owning one comes with big challenges and commitments.

Think about their long life. African Grey Parrots can live 30 to 50 years. So, it’s a big, long bond. They also mature in about five to seven years22.

How a bird acts and connects with you is very important. African Grey Parrots may attach closely to one person. It’s very fulfilling but needs a lot of your time.

These parrots are impressive at learning words. They mimic hundreds, picking them up from you or their space. They’re fun and interactive pets, loving music, TV, and games22.

If you’re new to birds, think about the hard work a Grey Parrot needs. They have high social and mental demands. If not met, they could show unhappy signs like breaking feathers or loud cries22.

Congo and Timneh are two sorts of African Grey Parrots. Congo ones are more known for their reddish tail and bigger size23. They show extraordinary brain power. They can have a huge vocabulary and even understand human words23.

Looking for a Grey Parrot? Go for a hand-reared one from a good breeder. Hand-reared parrots are more used to people. So, they bond better with their owners23.

Wing clipping is not ideal for African Greys. It’s bad for their physical and mental health. It’s better to let their wings grow naturally23.

Tips for Finding a Reputable Breeder or Adoption Center:

  1. Look into several breeders or centers. Compare how they do things.
  2. Ask for reviews and talk to others who got birds from there.
  3. Make sure they take good care of their birds. They should be friendly and well-fed.
  4. Ask about health checks or any official certifications they have.
  5. Ask for the bird’s background. This should include age, past owners, and any health or behavior notes.
  6. Watch how staff treat the birds. It shows their care and expertise.

Choosing the right African Grey Parrot takes a lot of thought. With a good source and an understanding of their needs, you can create a great home for your new bird.

african grey parrots for sale


After looking at owning African Grey parrots, we see they can be great pets. They need a lot of your time, work, and money to take care of well. Some people worry about birds as pets being treated right24. But, if you’re a committed owner and understand their needs, it might not be as big of a worry24. It’s very important to be sure you can provide what these smart, social birds need24.

African Grey parrots need the right space and a steady daily schedule to feel at their best25. Their diet must have a good amount of fruits, veggies, pellets, and only a few seeds or nuts25. And they require a lot of social and mental activity to stay happy and avoid behavior problems26.

Holding an African Grey parrot means you’re in it for the long haul with a pet that might live up to 50 years26. These clever birds can pick up over 2000 words and understand feelings like a two-year-old child does26.

Although it’s tough, owning an African Grey can be very rewarding. If you learn how to care for them right, get them from good places, and create a happy, busy home, you’ll have a wonderful bond with your parrot242526.


Are African Grey Parrots good pets?

Yes, they can be great pets for those ready to invest time and care.

What are the pros of owning an African Grey Parrot?

They’re smart and can talk. They form strong bonds, adding joy to your life.

What are the cons of owning an African Grey Parrot?

Their needs include lots of attention and a special diet. They may be noisy and live up to 50 years.

How can you overcome the cons of owning an African Grey Parrot?

Be sure to keep them mentally active and social. Use the right toys and work on noise training.

How do African Grey Parrots compare to other pet birds?

They’re top choices as they’re intelligent and talk. They have unique qualities among birds.

What are the challenges of owning an African Grey Parrot?

Their care needs are quite demanding. Be ready for daily time, varied diet, and vet visits.

What is the cost of owning an African Grey Parrot?

They’re pricey up front and need ongoing expensive care.

What do you need to know before getting an African Grey Parrot?

Research everything about them – from care to their social and dietary needs.

What is the lifespan of African Grey Parrots?

They can live up to 50 years. So, it’s a long-term care commitment.

What are the best practices for owning an African Grey Parrot?

Provide a stimulating home, regular vet check-ups, good food, and interaction. Use positive training to build trust.

How can you find the right African Grey Parrot for you?

Choose a reputable source and learn about the bird’s background and needs.

Source Links

  1. – Falls Road Animal Hospital
  2. – African Grey Parrot: Species Characteristics & Care
  3. – African Grey Parrot Personality, Food & Care – Pet Birds by Lafeber Co.
  4. – African Grey Parrots Make Great Pets
  5. – African Grey Parrots Do Make Great Pets – Advantages and Disadvantages – The Best Pet Birds
  6. – African Grey bonding issue
  7. – The Pros and Cons of Owning Parrots
  8. – African Grey for a First Bird?
  9. – Thinking Of Buying An African Grey?
  10. – Pros and Cons of Buying a Parrot (Abridged Version).
  11. – African Grey Parrots as Pets, The Pros and Cons of Owning One — TikTok Parrot
  12. – African Grey Parrots (Everything You Need to know)
  13. – Caring For African Grey Parrots – Bird Vet Melbourne
  14. – St. Michaels Companion Animal Hospital
  15. – Budgeting for pets: How much do birds cost?
  16. – Keeping an African Grey
  17. – 5 surprising facts about African grey parrots
  18. – Grey parrot
  19. – The Ultimate Guide To How are African Grey Parrots to Keep as Pets
  20. – Do’s And Don’ts For African Grey Parrots
  21. – Parrots as Pets? Do Your Research First.
  22. – Do African Grey Parrots Make Good Pets? – ZuPreem Pet
  23. – African Grey Parrots – Challenging but Rewarding Pets –
  24. – Birds (specifically parrots) as pets, is it ethical or not?
  25. – African Grey Parrots: An Overview of Characteristics and Care
  26. – African Grey Parrots | Strongsville Animal Hospital

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